updated 06:42 am EDT, Mon June 18, 2012
IBM system uses 98,000 nodes, 1.5 million cores
A supercomputer in the United States tops the list of the world's top 500 for the first time since November 2009. Sequoia, an IBM Blue Gene/Q system installed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the Department of Energy, clocked in at 16.32 sustained petaflops during tests, 50 percent more powerful than the second place "K Computer" in Japan.
Sequoia is made up from 96 racks of IBM hardware consisting of 1.5 million cores, 98,304 compute nodes and 1.6 petabytes of memory. The NNSA Advanced Simulation and Computing program will be taking advantage of the processing power to "provide a more complete understanding of weapons performance" according to director of the ASC program Bob Meisner. "The system will enable suites of highly resolved uncertainty quantification calculations to support the effort to extend the live of aging weapons systems."
The second place supercomputer is the K Computer by Fujitsu, installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe Japan. Using 700,000 SPARC64 processing cores, it reaches 10.51 Pflops/s, and held the top spot for the last year.
European systems also joined the top of the list, with the SuperMUC IBM iDataplex system in Leibniz Rechenzentrum in Germany reached fourth place out of 500, with another German supercomputer called JuQUEEN BlueGene/Q reaching eighth. The 1-petaflop supercomputer created by China using its own microprocessor chips, which debuted in October, dropped to 26th place.